I hate that so many folks were unable to be at the final General Session, because it was perhaps the best of all and overcame many of the problems that I blogged about earlier.
The session began with worship and communion featuring the music of Harp 46 and liturgy by Brian McLaren. Rather than trying to suggest that the entire session was worship, this was a self contained worship time which had a nice flow and maintained a sense of awe and mystery. It was also cool to know that April was the “Alice” of Brian’s “More Ready Than You Realize.”
After worship was concluded, Peter and Paul came back on for some more slam poetry. I continue to be amazed at Peter’s freedom with his body, and the passion which he brings to the poetry. Paul’s a great guitar player and I enjoyed what he was doing as much as Peter’s words.
Charlie Peacock then came on for his presentation. It was low key, but dang if he didn’t say things that hit me in my current ministry and push me to new understandings.
Finally, Crowder and the boys came out to praise and thank God in a rowdy and loud way to conclude the session.
What I experienced in regard to the flow was a similar movement in black worship and black preaching. The session built in intensity, leading to the celebraton at the end. This says to me that we make a mistake in bringing the band (if we are going to have one) on too early. With proper timing, this can all work together.
At the end, as they were making some closing announcements, Doug shared that there will be a new model next year, dividing the participants into four learning communities. While this may seem rather “Peter Senge-ish,” it is a move in the right direction that I support.